The English Premier League is scheduled to restart operations on June 17, and to that effect, we have seen many clubs resuming contact training, with the due training protocol enforced. While social distancing norms will continue to apply for players and staff returning to contact training as part of Project Restart, we are likely to see most clubs vote to either tie down their top players, or sell them, in order to work around the cash crunch caused due to the economic fallout post the global pandemic.
Many Premier League managers have already started scouting for new players for their respective clubs while making a list of players on the higher side of the wage bracket in order to balance the books ahead of the upcoming 2020/21 season. On that note, here is a list of players who might depart the league during the upcoming transfer window.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Paul Pogba has always been on top of sports news columns and this season was no different. Although he has been sidelined for most of the season, there is no doubt that he is one of the top Premier league players around. However, the Manchester United academy graduate is most likely to be sold during the upcoming window to make place for younger stars in the team.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester side have been unable to fight for the top four spots for the last few seasons, while their Champions League prospects have been subpar as well. The chance to play in the topmost level of European competition might entice the Man Utd player to move out of England, with his most likely destination pegged to be either Real Madrid or former club Juventus.
The French international, who has been suffering from different ankle issues, has featured just eight times this season across all competitions. A move away from Old Trafford seems the best option for both the player as well as his club.
Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
Young winger Leroy Sane joined Manchester City as a bright prospect but has seemingly fallen down the pecking order. He is yet to make a single Premier League appearance this season, having suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury during the FA Community Shield game against Liverpool.
However, with players slowly returning to training, and soon contact training as well, it seems more likely that Sane’s four-season stint at the Etihad is likely to be brought to an end. Bayern Munich are the closest European contenders to secure his signature, with the Bavarians looking at Leroy Sane as the perfect replacement after the departures of veteran duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery last summer.
Their attempts to sign the winger during the last transfer window were marred by his injury, but the interest in the 24-year-old Premier League player seems set as he hopes to make a return to his home country of Germany.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
A club favourite at Arsenal, the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubamenyang is sure to leave a dent amongst the Gooners, and a gap in the Arsenal frontline. One of the last signings of the legendary Arsene Wenger before his departure, the African striker has established himself as a mainstay in the Arsenal starting XI but might seek greener pastures following two disappointing seasons for the club.
Aubameyang finished as the joint Premier League top scorer in his first full season at the club, sharing the Golden Boot with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, with 22 goals. Before the suspension of the league, he also scored twice against Everton to seal another victory for the gunners to become joint-Premier League top scorer, tied at 17 with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.
With the chance of playing European football seemingly enticing, both Real Madrid and Barcelona will look to sign the Gabonese forward, who will be a much cheaper option than their first choices.
Another option is to join Inter Milan, with the new project built under Antonio Conte taking flight. Mikel Arteta will look to cash in on the striker instead of risking letting him leave on a fee, and use the extra funds to bring to new and exciting talents.
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)
The departure of Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen seemed imminent during the last transfer window but the move eventually did not take place. While the Premier League club has seen a rise in their performances over the last few gameweeks, the Belgian defender might still be weighing his options ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
Although the player’s agent claims that remaining in North London is still an option for the 32-year-old defender, Serie A clubs like AS Roma and Inter Milan will be monitoring the situation closely. While Roma are still looking for a proper replacement at centre-back since the departure of Kostas Manolas to Napoli, Conte’s project at Inter has seemingly taken flight, with the addition of the experienced defender as an added bonus.
Another option which might open up for the Belgian is a return to his former club Ajax, who reportedly expressed an interest in re-signing Vertonghen on a free transfer at the end of the season. Jose Mourinho, one of the most legendary Premier League managers is now in charge at Tottenham and he will look to play the younger defensive stars like Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez, making the possibility of a move likely for Jan Vertonghen.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis
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